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hi there, everyone. i'm tamron hall. following president obama's next step in turning the words from his inaugural address in to bold new action for this country. "the new york times" calls his speech evolved and unapologetic. earlier today, the first couple attended a prayer service at washington's national cathedral, a tradition dating back, of course, to the very first
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president and later today on to the last inaugural event, the staff ball, the reaction to the president's inaugural address that's the headline and the question of how he will make the vision a reality. with the republican party already critical of what they heard yesterday. >> we have always understood that when times change, so must we. the commitments we make to each other through medicare and medicaid and social security, these things do not sap our nation. they strengthen us. they do not make us a nation of takers. they free us to take the risks that make this country great. our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to unanother must be equal, as well. our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful
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immigrants who still see america as a land of opportunity. until bright, young students and engineers are listed in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. we know that america thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work. when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. we are true to our creed when a little girl born in to the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else. >> and joining me now with his reaction to the president's speech yesterday, democratic congressman from maryland, chris van hollen. thank you so much for your time. >> it's great to be with you, tamron. >> as have perhaps read yourself or heard "the new york times" is calling the president's unapologetic, evolved. we ask the question, is this the liberal reagan? what is your thoughts on this speech yesterday? >> well, i thought the president captured the american character
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and the moment beautifully. he talked about two very important strains of the character. one is initiative and individual responsibility and a core value we have got and also pointed out that some of the best moments have been when we were able to work together. we are one country. that we should not pit people against each other. whether it's on race, whether it's on sexual orientation or whether it's on age. we need to make sure we invest in our younger generation and in the competitiveness of our country. but we should not do that at the expense of an important commitments we have made to seniors to make sure that they have a secure retirement and secure health. so i thought the president really built on the theme that begins in our declaration of independence that was repeated by dr. king in his "i have a dream" speech that this country is one country and that we're best when we're working together as a team. >> and how do we get done then? you already now have seen some opposition from those within the
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republican party. for example, congressman paul ryan, a man you know very well closely and you work with him. he says regarding the takers remark from the president's address, i understand the president will continue to use straw man arguments, affix views to your political adversaries. they do not have in order to try and win an argument by default. that's the reaction to the president saying people are not takers in this country. mccain said the president should have reached out in the speech saying this is the eight inauguration i have been to and always there's been a portion of the speech where the president says i reach out my hand because we need to work together. that wasn't in this speech. so from immigration to the rights of those who are gay in our communities and in our neighborhood, in this country, to the other issues, as far as income inequality that the president said need to be addressed, how do you get this done? >> well, tamron, i must have heard a different speech than
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senator mccain and paul ryan. i thought the president was very clear that we're all in this together. that we have to put aside the petty political differences and focus on these core issues. it wasn't president obama who said that americans were takers. that was, of course, the position taken by republicans in the last campaign and the president's trying to overcome that whole idea by saying we are in this together. let's take immigration reform. remember, it wasn't that long ago that president bush and mccain and kennedy teamed up to try to do comprehensive immigration reform. that was stopped by the hard right and so what the president is saying now is really let's focus on the common interest. let's try to put together -- put aside some of those differences. not allow a small minority on the extreme right to sabotage important efforts for the country as a whole, whether it's
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on immigration reform or common sense gun safety issues where the overwhelming majority of the american people recommends it simply makes sense for universal background checks. >> congressman, i apologize for interrupting you. you mentioned gun control legislation. i have to bring the audience breaking news of multiple people having been shot at a harris county college in texas. according to the harris county precinct deputies there, investigators say the shooting happened at the lone star college north harris campus. officials did not say exactly how many people are shot or extent of injuries. hospital in that area said that life flight was being sent to the university or to the college to pick up at least one patient. deputy constables, authorities on the scene said that they have at least one person detained but have not said if that person is the suspected shooter. investigators have not said if they believe there's more than one shooter involved this. multiple people have been shot
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and harris county college in harris county. that is near the houston area if i'm not mistaken. but investigators say the shooting happened at the lone star college on the north harris campus there. earlier, during andrea mitchell's last few minutes of the hour the news was developing and at this time the report was that there have been shots fired. but now, here's six minutes latter we have this update and there are reports that multiple shots have been fired at this college and that at least four people have been shot at this college. we can get some more information, hopefully logistically on what this college or where it's located but i do know that harris county includes houston, texas. getting more on the population or the size of this college but right now waiting to get more information. this is at -- latest school shooting, university shooting, college shooting that we have
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seen. i don't have to give you the short recent history of the most traumatic being newtown in connecticut. but we have seen virginia tech and other schools go in lockdown and as a result of a gunman on campus but right now what we know regarding this situation multiple people according to authorities shot at a texas college. this is near houston, texas. north harris is under a shelter in place. i imagine this means that the students have been placed in lockdown. they say shelter in place. i'm not sure what that means but i'm assuming that that is referring to the students and the faculty being told to take shelter immediately there. we don't know if this university or this college has in place a system, for example, like virginia tech after the massacre on the campus of that university where they have an alert system, where students receive text messages and even e-mails to
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alert them to a situation happening on campus. we are not sure how the word is getting out to the students and faculty at this college in harris county in houston, texas. but what we know at this point is that four people, multiple people i should say, multiple people have been shot at a harris county college. i've got fbi profiler clint van zant standing by. clint, this is the second time that we have been on air since newtown where literally we have had breaking news during a conversation on gun legislation. i was just talking to congressman chris van hollen and we break in with news regarding this shooting and waiting to get information in texas and it was, i believe, just last week or maybe two weeks ago, again, in the middle of a conversation on gun legislation and there was a shooting in california. right now, we don't know much about what's happening here. when's happened i should say here but police are saying, clint, multiple people have been
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shot. >> yeah. you know, what i'm afraid we're seeing is there are a number of people who because of pending gun legislation for one thing are buying guns. i was at a local sporting goods store where i live in virginia, and people were stacked up two deep at a gun counter buying guns and the ammunition had almost been cleaned -- this is a large store. and the ammunition had been cleaned off almost all of those shelves. so number one, you have a paranoid belief on the part of some people that the current administration wants to take their guns or wants to take their ammunition. realize there's 300 million guns in america. if they think the fbi and atf lined up at the front door to get the guns, you know, that's just not going to take place. the other -- >> i want to point our audience to what we're seeing on the screen. at least one person at the top
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of the screen lying on his or her back it appears and an emt and gloves and i don't want -- forgive me for making an assumption whether this is a suspect or victim. we cannot tell but you see a number of people hovering over this individual on that little patch of grass there. emt workers and authorities on the scene there and there appears to be and the tree is blocking our view but there appears to be another person on the ground, as well. at this point, clint, we have been told multiple people, obviously, not a specific number there. but we see at least activity over two individuals on this portion of grass there in our screen here, clint. >> yeah. i think what we're finding out, what we have seen the last few years is when we see these shootings, mass shootings, campus shootings, these theater shootings, they almost to a person there's some significant
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mental health issue that's ongoing that allows them to take whatever frame of reference they have and then act out against a community which may well be what we're seeing right now at this north harris campus. >> and clint, i know that texas has a concealed handgun law. >> yeah. >> you're able to carry in that state. i reported extensively on when the law passed and great concern whether or not the crime rate would go up. meaning not in the sense of burglaries but people getting in to confrontations, for example, in vehicles and going out and shooting someone over a petty argument over traffic. great concerns but the conceal handgun weapons law passed in the state. i do not know and we can work to get the information if you can carry gun tons campuses of universities or not. we have had that conversation in the past where governors have even said that they would support people carrying guns on
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school campuses and sporting events in places that would seem unusual to some. but again, pointing the audience back to what we see here on screen. this is harris county college. that's in harris county, obviously. in texas. the university or the college is called lone star college. that's near harris campus. so we're trying to get the breakdown here and sounds like a campus that's part of lone star college. and this is their north harris campus about 12 to 14 minutes ago. word came in that several shots were heard on this campus. a few minutes later, multiple people according to authorities confirmed shot. we do not have an exact number. clint, back to the conversation of the law in the state, they have a concealed handguns weapon law in place in texas and been in place i'm going to calculate about -- 15, maybe 20 years now. maybe around that. >> yeah. it has. and we have seen few shootings
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like this. mass shootings that have ever been attributed to someone who legally has the right to carry a gun. the shootings that we have seen in the last year, for example, not only have been individuals by and large with mental health issues but people who have stolen guns or taken guns from their parents or something elsewhere there was no legal aspect to them having guns, carrying guns or deploying a weapon in that regard anyway. so you know, we may well be talking apples to oranges with the exception of what you're saying many people will say, well, that at least if they had someone carrying a gun on campus, that may have given them the ability to respond to the shooter. obviously, at this point, we don't know that to be the case at all. >> we do not but we know, clint, that this will be an incident depending on how it shakes out that perhaps will be used in the conversation over what to do regarding gun control.
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we do not know if there was a semiautomatic, an assault weapon. multiple people shot and a person in custody and going to be added sadly to the list of school shootings. let me show you. i want to point the audience to the left-side of the screen a. number of people rushing under this building or rushing away. we know that there's -- what's described interestingly enough as a shelter in place. i'm assuming this is where students and faculty, staff people there advised to go immediately for their protection. we do not know if this college has an alert system in place. such as text messaging and e-mailing and universities started to do that since virginia tech to get the proper information out as soon as possible to the students who unbeknownst to them sitting in the classrooms and unaware of a shooting that could be very near where they are at the time. so we at least know that some
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parts of this university, some portion of the students attending have been alerted and told to take immediate shelter where they are. clint, we see this activity. so likely, what do you believe the authorities are doing? one person we're told is in custody and looking for at least another individual. how do you manage that when you're trying to treat multiple people who have been shot as well as secure this campus and we can assume it's a college and a pretty large campus. not a small school. >> yeah. they have a number of things going on. nurm ber one, of course, they have to treat the wounded but as important they have to make sure they found the shooter, that they have stopped this person from carrying this -- anymore shootings. you used a term, shelter in place and this is important. this is something that we learned, unfortunately, at virginia tech is that many of the doors in the classrooms did not have the ability to be locked from the inside.
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a little thing like that can make the difference between life and death. so when the message goes out, shelter in place, that by and large is telling the instructors, faculty, the students, get inside of a room, lock the door and hunker down until it's clear to come out. >> looking at video coming in to msnbc right now. one individual you see there being taken i'm assuming to an ambulance nearby. they're not rushing so we can see that the person is not critically injured but this is all going down at the lone star college. that's in north harris county. their campus about 20 miles north of houston. it's in an unincorporated area of harris county. south of the woodlands. people familiar with texas. considered affluent. beautiful area in houston or near houston. i'm familiar with it because i worked in brian college station
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which is just outside of this area. where texas a&m is located, for example. a point of reference. here's where the incident is taking place. near houston. one person in custody. multiple people shot at this texas college. i'm also being told that there's a day care on this college campus. all of the children we're told are safe at this point. the campus has roughly 18,000 students. in texas right now, texas is one of the state that is has a concealed carry weapons law. currently there are 21 states that ban carrying concealed weapons but on college campuses and texas seems to be one of those according to the information that i have that 21 states that ban carrying a concealed weapon on a college campus, texas is included in that and the state has a concealed carries weapon law in
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effect for nearly 20 years now. now kprc out of houston, texas, listening to the information they have for their local audience. >> continue to check in with you as soon as you get some more information and as soon as we get some new information, as well. again, as phil pointed out, a perimeter set up north of campus. a second suspect seen fleeing from an academic building in a red shirt and falcons baseball cap. he was seen running towards a subdivision that's in that area and looking at this map here on your screen, that's a huge area, a huge perimeter they have to set up there. >> and other accounts that we are seeing, you know, i told you that multiple people are saying that it happened in the library. we're seeing posts that those people being treated that you see right there, this is right outside the library and i'm not familiar enough with this campus to know where the library is but they're saying that's right outside the library and saying that one of the victims is a woman that's being treated and certainly sometimes from aerial
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view that's hard to tell. we know that the one man who was handcuffed to the stretcher, that was a man. they're saying that one of the people shot was a woman. hearing multiple people shot. >> another point you brought up earlier, unclear if the shooter, the shooters were already on campus or somehow connected to the campus or if they found their way on to campus. again, it's still too early to say what prompted this whole still developing situation that's taking place there but we do know that two people were taken away on stretchers. one is said to be critically injured and police are searching for a second suspect there on the north side of the college campus. we have reports that that person was seen running from an academic building towards a neighboring subdivision there up in north harris county. >> right now we have a student, amanda vasquez. i man da, where were you when you heard gunshots and describe to us what happened and what you
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heard. >> i was waiting for my english class to start in the academic building room 163 and it was five minutes before it was about to start and all of a sudden i heard backfiring. and people started rushing in the hallways. and a few students even came in to our room seeking shelter. and we closed the door and put the table against the door and we were hiding in the -- i was trying to call my mom. to let her know i was okay. and i was just -- and then starting -- and then ten minutes later the police came in and they said to put your hands behind your head and run out. i guess they were still -- another person on the loose. it was just really scary.
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you never think it will happen to you. >> amanda, we really appreciate you talking to us and i can't imagine the stress, obviously, and fear whenever you near a situation like that. your account helps to explain the students running out with their hands above their heads. >> how many other students were there with you? >> in my class? >> yes. >> about 25, 30. >> and did you ever see anything? you said some other students came in to your classroom to get out of the hall. did you know about how far off the shots were from your classroom? >> no. i just know it was in the hallway that we were in. not too far away. it sounded very close, the shots. >> how close is your room there to the library? is the library close? >> the library is pretty close. the building next to us. >> okay. >> and i know everything was happening so fast, amanda. do you remember how many shots
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you heard? >> five. five or six. >> five or six gunshots? >> yes, sir. >> and so, what do you do now? i know we are seeing that the campus is on lockdown. it just means that no one can go on to the campus but students are allowed to leave, letting students leave as they clear buildings. do you know anyone who's still there or other friends on campus you are trying to get in touch with? >> i was just trying to get in touch with a couple of my friends that i knew were still on the campus, but it's just terrible service and i can't get a hold of any of them. >> where are you right now, amanda? >> i'm off campus trying to walk to the parking lot where my car is. >> okay. could you describe for us what you're seeing out there right now? >> just a bunch of cop cars and students that look confused. >> student that is look confused, you said? >> yes. >> have you had a chance to talk to any of the administrators,
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the staff or faculty there? anybody else there with you? >> no. i haven't seen any teachers or faculty. >> you said -- did you say that when you heard the shots some students got under desks? what do you do when you hear gunshots and think it's in the hall just outside of your classroom? >> i did whatever i thought was smart. i think -- under the table as fast as i could. and i hoped for the best. you know? >> did you actually get a chance to see the shooter, amanda? >> i saw one of the shooters when he was already under the police control. >> could you give us a description of him? >> it was a black male with a red sweatshirt on. >> and when you saw him, was he just outside on the ground? i think this is what we saw from sky 2. >> yes. >> okay. there was another person on the ground out there. did you see that? did you see another person close to that man on the ground?
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>> i wasn't able to see the other man. >> but you believe it was a man? >> i think so. >> okay. are you hearing anything at all from other students or friends about how many people were shot or, goodness, what may have happened? >> no. i'm not hearing anything like that. i just keep hearing that several people are injured. >> we are listening in to the live broadcast from kprc in houston of breaking news. we're following this hour. multiple people shot on a college campus. this according to authorities. one person in custody. and police are looking for a second suspect in a subdivision on the north side. they say of the campus. witnesses believe they saw an individual run in to a wooded area but what you are listening to obviously is a student who's on campus or still currently on the campus at this time. she is safe but shaken and described confusion, fear, all of the things you can imagine
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are playing out right now on this campus. multiple shots were heard on the campus. about 30 minutes ago. within a few minutes of that initial report, authorities confirm that multiple people have been shot. one person critically. one individual in custody. activity throughout this campus. about 18,000 students attend school here. many of them have been told to take shelter right away along with the faculty and other staffers at this college. near houston, texas. about 20 miles outside of houston. let me bring in janet shamlian, nbc correspondent based in that area. janet, first, what have you heard if anything from some of your contacts working this story and who may be on their way to help secure the situation? >> sounds like the injuries may be fairly critical bringing them, tamron, to the texas medical center and there are medical facilities closer to this campus than the texas
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medical center which is in downtown houston. only the most serious cases go there and life flight, the helicopter service, has brought at least one injury and possibly two to the medical center for treatment. as you said, this is a campus about 20, 25 miles north of downtown houston. it's a community campus with a number of different locations and you mentioned a shelter in place alert that is posted on the school's website. what we're hearing is that the gunman may be still at large. the person taken away in handcuffs may, in fact, not be the gunman but somebody wanted for questioning but that there are reports as you indicated that someone fled in to the nearby wooded area around the campus. there is a neighborhood just adjacent to that campus and on the search right now for a suspect who fled wearing a red shirt, a black male is what is being reported on the local news here, tamron. >> tell me a little bit more
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about this campus, janet. i'm getting the team to get more information according to what we have been able to uncover. obviously, sounds like a small college in the area, about 18,000 students. >> it's technical and ged-type training. you know, it is not one of the major universities here like rice or university of houston but it is, in fact, a large campus as you can see from the aerials in terms of size. and it is so you shouurrounded wooded ear with a. good 20 miles north of the center of the city of houston. >> right now being told texas medical examiner's office confirming to nbc news at this point as of 2:25 eastern time that they have not been notified of any fatalities at lone star college and does not mean victims are not taken in critical condition and discussed with janet. let me bring in clint van zant. clint, again, she speaks to the size of this campus. not one of the major
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universities but it is sprawling. as it seems everything in texas is as it gives so much land and the huge campuses. even with a college such as this which is a technical ged training college that janet pointed out to us. how do you secure this area? look at the wooded borders of this campus. >> yeah. >> which would make it incredibly difficult, especially if someone tries to disappear in all of the areas available around that college. >> well, this is going to take a number of things. a lot of boots on the ground, a lot ofofficers and air assets. fixed-wing planes to try to see this. you know, as we were discussing earlier, tamron, this is now the fourth shooting on a college campus since january first and in essence three weeks in to this year and already four shootings on college campuses
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and a recent study and survey, at least 25% of all colleges in the united states said we were not prepared to handle an active shooter situation. unfortunately, having had four shootings already this year, a lot of campuses are going to have to get up to speed. >> again to reiterate, according to the national conference of late legislators, concealed carry law exists in texas and has for more than 20 years. you can carry a concealed weapon if you go through training in the state. but you're not allowed to carry a concealed weapon on college campus. this is a reporter at the scene. clint, let me have you hang on for a second. >> and i made it after passed by the library. i started listening to all the shooting and when i looked back i saw just people running towards me. and i grabbed one of -- you know, older teacher that fell, i grabbed her and we took her out
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of the building and that's all. you know? i didn't see the shooting actually. i just heard somebody screaming and -- and then after i that i heard the shots. >> did you say that you saw one of the suspects or the shooters running away? what did you see? >> i didn't see anybody running. i saw a bunch of people running. i didn't see anybody with a gun. anything like that. >> how about injuries? did you see anything like that? >> i heard a guy shot in the leg but i don't know if actually somebody got killed. i don't know anything. >> describe what the police did after this happened and describe the chaos you mentioned a lot of people running. >> after that happened, i grabbed my cell phone and tried to call 911 but the lines were -- you know, saturated or whatever. a lot of people calling 911. after that, i went and grabbed my truck and left the building. that's all. you know? >> you got to be a little shaken up by all of this. did you get an alert from the school? >> they're sending e-mails.
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you know? but i haven't had time to just check them yet. but, you know, the media is going crazy. facebook. everybody's just talking about it. >> okay. thank you for your time. i know you have to go. appreciate your time and glad you are safe. this is the type of report getting. you can see the school just beyond us. we are at the barricade here and this is as far as we can get. phil archer is bringing folks over. do you have a family member inside the school or there at the time? >> no. my nephew danny oflores and was in the library and when they did the shooting and the guy took off and hiding and he said he's walking over this way. >> describe again the scene and what happened to your knowledge of your family inside at the time. >> well. it's pretty scary. i live out in channel view and i can't imagine, you know, you see
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this kind of stuff on the tv all the time and just hits you. especially, you know, my nephew is in the library while this stuff is going on. >> what did your nephew say about the injuries or shooting itself? >> all he knows is that as soon as he starts hearing the shots he took off and tried to find some cover. but he was there on the spot where everything started happening. >> okay. sir, thank you for your time. now, there are some schools around here including nemitts and dunn elementary and we're told they're all on lockdown as the investigation continues. very active scene. several law enforcement agencies around here. to the best of our knowledge, the information to gather according to the constable's office, there's an active search for a shooter in this case. one person detained. this information is going to change quite a bit as new details come in. but as you can see, it's live picture, near the lone star college just north of bush
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airport off of the hardy toll road, an active scene as the shooting happened a short while ago. back to you. >> i have a question for you. sue said at the beginning whenever you started talking to him coming on to campus he saw three people arguing. and then walked past. i was just curious if he expanded on that anymore off air before the live interview. but sort of maybe kind of would get at if it was the same guy that he saw later in cuffs attached to the stretcher. i don't think that he was able to see exactly the folks who were leaving the scene and then those who were in custody. you know? as you can imagine when this happens and people hear these shots they start running. one woman was standing in the area and waiting for her -- waiting for her loved one to come out of there. she said her sister actually got underneath a desk and hid hearing the gunshots.
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she didn't know where the gunshots were coming from but she as well as other classmates got under the desk and many ran for the exits not knowing what was going to happen. we do know according to some of the witnesses and you have been hearing reports we're hearing that this was an argument between two people. two guys got in to some type of disagreement, possibly in the library area and then they pulled out their guns and started shooting. that information is not confirmed by law enforcement. however, several different witnesses or those who have family members inside the school have told us that exact same story. we are trying to get details confirmed and pass it along as soon as we have it. >> all right. thank you very much. as soon as the reports of the shooting hit the -- >> again, listening to kprc, their coverage of this lockdown of a college. clint van zant standing by. clint, in that report, witnesses say they saw two people get in to an argument starting in the
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library and at least the unconfirmed reports what witnesses are repeating that two people pulled out guns. and started firing on each other. this would obviously be some kind of altercation if the facts are collect. not one of these school shootings where an individual comes on campus and randomly targeting individuals on campus. nevertheless, someone is critically injured doesn't matter the circumstances necessarily surrounding it at this point but we know multiple people were shot as a result of whatever happened there and this is a situation of gun violence on yet another campus. >> it's gun violence on another campus. some may say well, it's more of an incident of violence in a workplace or it could be a shooting in the county and an inner city. doesn't make a difference of where it is right now but in this particular place it was on a college campus and as you
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talked earlier, as you suggested earlier, tamron, for 20 years you can carry a concealed weapon in texas but not on college campuses. here are at least two individuals that either perhaps carry a weapon all the time or came specifically with a weapon maybe they thought they were going to have this confrontation but one wonders how many other guns were on campus at the same time. >> absolutely. and i mean, quite noicaturally when you talk about it, texas is one of those states that certainly is a banner state for gun culture. i can say that, i grew up there and we lived inches from a gun store that happens to be across the street from an elementary school. it is a red state. it is a state that takes great pride in embracing so-called gun culture. and it is one of the states where you are able to carry a concealed weapon with training and with a license, clint. but it is a state that you cannot and you are not legally allowed to carry a gun on campus
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and the school lone star college also has in place its own rules that prohibit an individual from carrying a handgun or any gun i should say on the campus of that university. we have been able to print out the information on weapons on premises. those are banned firearms prohibited and the list goes on and on of what is not allowed on the campus of lone star college which is on their website. so here we have a campus. i don't know the security situation if there are armed security officer tons campus or not but we know and this is perhaps a reason why some of the students were able to take shelter. we don't know but you heard a student, clint, who said he received an e-mail. he didn't have a chance to fully look at the e-mail but an e-mail sent out to alert students that there was a situation on campus that they should be aware of. >> well, these are all listens
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that we learned terribly from virginia tech forward where as you and i discussed earlier when a shelter in place message goes out, we want people to hunker down where they're at, lock themselves in a room or car. whatever. it's a challenge for law enforcement coming on campus searching, trying to find the shooter. with 18,000 people on campus to begin with, now law enforcement has got almost the impossible task of trying to identify the shooter immediately and find him or her plus deal with the wounded. but tamron, you know, to eliminate guns on campus, again, 18,000 people on this campus. do we send 18,000 people through a metal detector every day? do we have one entrance in and out of a campus? we are able to do in an airport. we're able to do this in public buildings but on a large campus like this, we can have a rule, a law saying no guns on campus but unless we're willing to search every person, we really can't
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enforce that law. >> there are some schools and i visited some with metal detectors before students are allowed to enter in many cases they have to go through the metal detectors. we don't know what they have, if anything, in place at this school. three shot. one person. possible heart attack. one suspected shooter in custody. searching to see if there's any other individuals involved in this. the atf and the fbi are responding to assist. let's bring in pete williams, he's standing by to join us on this. pete, texas has a concealed handgun law. we know at least the atf and fbi are responding to assist. would you be able to give me insight in to what they would do there on the scene? >> they would be in response to local law enforcement, the local police would be in charge here.
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this is fairly standard. i'm told they're not there yet but on the way. here's the best information from a couple of officials who are monitoring what's going on there in texas. it's -- there's either three or four people shot. the information is frankly contradictory here. it's difficult to say exactly. some of the reports i have heard are just like the one you just had which is three people were shot and one person may have suffered a heart attack. in any event, looks like four people potential victims here. one person is in custody. appears to be a student at the school and some indication that this may be gang related. that's an early bit of information, too. i should just caution that, you know, we don't really know the facts here. these are very preliminary bits of information as the federal officials respond to the scene there to do what they can to invest in the information but
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the texas authorities will be in charge. >> and to your point, we don't know the circumstances but you and i know the conversation i was just having with congressman chris van hollen on looking at legislation to curb gun violence. none of that, again, do we know would change or could be factored in to this so to be clear but it does come at a time, pete, where this was, i believe, the second time in less than two weeks that we were doing or having a conversation with a guest on gun violence and we had to interrupt the conversation. there was a shooting in california and now this. clint van zant pointed out four shootings on the campuses of schools since january already this year. we heard the president mention newtown in his inaugural address yesterday. but back to the laws. in texas, you have the conceal handgun law that you go through training and you are able to kay choir a license. but on this campus, lone star
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college, they have a clear here not able to have a weapon on the premises but clint points out, pete, without a metal detector searching every student going through the doors of that campus, how would you ever know? >> these are all good questions and perhaps we'll have enough facts later in the day to assess them. we don't know any of the details now. don't know what role any of the laws may have played here. we don't know what happened. >> you're absolutely right. again, we are following this breaking news story. houston, texas. a number of authorities on the scene. pete indicates that the fbi and atf are also responding on the way to assist law enforcement there. three people shot. perhaps another individual with a possible heart attack. one suspected shooter in custody. and pete, i'm sorry. let me go to clint van zant. if you're still standing by. >> yes. >> i will have don clark in a
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second but i want to talk about securing the perimeter here again. if they are in fact searching for another suspect. >> well, and as pete points out, fbi and atf, there will be many, many other law enforcement agencies coming. the fbi will supply s.w.a.t. teams as will atf. they'll also help with the crime scene investigation to gather evidence. but right now, the two critical issues they have is caring for the wounded, the injured as well as identifying the shooter or shooters and making sure they're either in custody or law enforcement knows they're off the campus. again, as we were talking, tamron, in 2011, there were almost 1,500 firearms-related violations on college campuses of america. this is not a rarity. >> let's bring in don clark, a
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former member of the fbi and familiar with this particular campus. don, thank you for your time. tell me what you know about this campus. >> i don't know a lot about the camp campus. i know where the area is and i know it's a very nice, very, you know, lots of trees and very -- really a good college environment type of a setting. it's one of those things where people would usually want to say that, oh, we don't have those kinds of issues here. that we see in some of the inner city type of areas because it's a very upscale and a very nice area there and again i would agree is that, wouldn't expect it to be in an area of this nature. >> back to -- because we know that crime has no boundaries or barriers, we know that it can happen anywhere. >> that's true. >> and we saw that, especially chilling when the massacre at newtown happened. but to this area and it being
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wooded, if they're looking for another suspect there, from the vantage point of this helicopter shot, as well as some of the images i was able to receive here, it would be a challenge in searching for someone in the wooded area that borders the entire college campus. >> of course, you know, those of us that live down here in texas and some of the rural areas there, you know, you know how difficult it is trying to find someone in a rural area. slaumt pretty efficient and effective now and they have the abilities with helicopters and with all of other type of access and ability to go in to the areas and you can only hide for so long and eventually you're going to have to come out as you see the thickness of these trees and so forth. you're going to have to come out
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and show your face some place and this place will be surrounded if they're looblging for one other person to come out of these woods. >> don, again, but just to and for clarification, have you been on this particular campus before? >> i have not. i have not been on this particular campus. >> okay. >> i know the houston area quite well an i know the wooded area around there but in terms of being on this campus, no. >> because we are trying to get a better picture of the security situation on that campus. do they have security guards who are armed? are there security guards stationed at the different entrances in thank you for your time, sir. let's give the audience some updated information here. the federal officials have said that this point -- the details are very sketchy. the atf and the fbi are headed to the scene to assist the texas authorities. early word is that there are four victims. one suspect. a student in custody. now, there is some indication according to federal officials
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that this shooting is gang related. this again is the information i'm provided. and there's some indication that that could be the case. we don't know the complete and full picture. what we do know is that multiple people transported to the hospital. one individual we were told could be in critical condition. one suspect in custody. witness at the scene that spoke with a local reporter on air live indicated that witnesses saw two individuals arguing in the library at this texas college. it spilled outside of the library and there was an exchange of gun fire between the two people. guns prohibited on the campus of the college and any college in the state of texas but people allowed to legally with a license carry a handgun, carry a weapon, in the state of texas. we have mark smith with us. he's a harris county -- with harris county officials there. mark, thank you for your time. what can you tell me that you
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know at this point? >> well, we are part of the ems response to the scene as far as details, you know, i can give you a few details. we had four of our ambulances that did respond too that took patients to the bentab trauma center in harris county. the other patients transported to houston northwest medical center. i believe lower acuity patients as far as not having as serious wounds. you know, we have been on scene since about 12:25 houston time so slightly over an hour, an hour and 20 minutes or so and it's essentially what i can give you at this point. >> if you could, again, repeat, the confirmed injury that is you know at this point. >> the injuries that i know of is -- we believe that they are
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gunshot wounds. one patient was described as critical taken to bentom hospital here in harris county. and the other injuries are -- have been described as gunshots but apparently not as severe as the one individual. >> are you able to find out what type of weapon? are we looking at an assault weapon? do we know what kind of weapon? >> i don't have those details, unfortunately. my guess is the harris county sheriff's office would know those details better than i would. unfortunately, i'm not on scene. i'm in the dispatch center. >> i understand. mark, let me find out from you if you received this information. the patient is also a suspect. >> i don't know. >> okay. >> you know? i don't know at this time. but from what i've gathered through other news sources, as well, that's one of the beliefs but i can't confirm that at this
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point. >> do you have an estimate on how many emt workers, how many personnel you have had to dispatch to the college? >> we have had four units that have been dispatched which that's at least eight ems personnel but we have also had our ems supervisor and our medical director who's in emergency managers who's been on scene. that plus another of individuals from our agency. probably just from our agency alone, neighbors between 15 and 20 perm on scene. >> do you know if any other people transported or do you believe those injured have been placed in to the ambulance and on their way or at actual hospitals at this point? >> all i can confirm at this point we have at least one ambulance that's on scene. >> okay. >> and in addition to the medical director and supervisor.
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whether an individual is going to be transported or not, i don't know for sure. >> okay. >> but my guess is that, you know, they're still searching and just in abundance of caution making sure that we have resources on scene. >> okay. mark, thank you very much. clint, are you still there? >> yes, i am. >> we saw an interview with an individual when's a relative of a student of the school and they rush to the scene and attempt to either get their loved one or find out the latest information here. how do you secure -- right now, this is 1:51 local time in texas. students are there. think near a sheltered area. you have an area, a pretty significant size college campus trying to secure and then the third factor here, people showing up, relatives showing up to try and get information on someone who may be attending that school.
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that is -- those are a lot of moving parts in addition to possibly looking for another suspect there. >> that is huge clock with a lot of moving parts. one of the things law enforcement would have to do is stop anyone from coming on campus other than emergency response personnel. we understand if it was a family member, we want to get to them. but with 18,000 people already on campus, police, fbi, everybody else there's got their hands full so i'm sure they would stop people from entering the campus but realize, tamron, the other side of it is that there may be a lot of students, employees trying to get in the students and get campus. law enforcement has to be able to screen those cars to make sure the shooter, that we believe they're still looking for, is not trying to escape by that route, too. so they have to be looking, searching cars, perhaps as they leave campus. this is really -- chews up with
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manpower with that responsibility and trying to find what we're told is at least one shooter who's still on the run. >> okay. clint, let me get you to stand by and bring in theron nicholas. are you there? >> i am here. >> what can you tell me that you have been able to uncover there? >> so far, an argument between students on the ground. >> do we know if students are saying that this exchange of fire, handgun, semiautomatic? what do we know? >> no word on the kind of weapons used. i would assume -- well, you know what happens when you assume but i assume at school they were probably concealed weapons of some kind so a handgun is probably a safe bet. we know that two students were
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taken to a local hospital here in houston. >> i have to interrupt you to listen in. apparently a local affiliate interviewing a witness whose nephew one of those shot. >> that's all we know. i don't know no more. you know? all i know right now. >> what is your nephew's name? how old? tell me about him and what he was doing inside at the time. >> he's doing art. he does art. and he's supposed to be in school there today i think since 9:00 and what he does right now. that's all i know right now. >> what do you know about his injuries and where the officials took him? >> they said they took him to bentar right now and shot in the arm. i don't know which one. he was shot in the stomach and the leg. i don't know what side, the right or left side. i don't have a chance to see him. >> constable's office says they looking for a suspect in this case. is that what you're hearing, as
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well? >> yes, sir. >> describe what else is going on to what you know and have you been contacted by law enforcement yet? >> no, sir. >> your thoughts on what's going on? several schools locked down. what is going through your mind knowing your nephew in the hospital right now? >> i hate that it happened. >> houston affiliate, that's the uncle of an individual who was shot at the scene. he says his nephew was taken to bentab medical center there. according to brian mccloud with the harris county health system, that hospital received two patients as of 2:48 p.m. eastern time. no word on their condition and clint van zant standing by with me. we have no word on the students still in those building. there were students in the library at the time of the nirnl confrontation and i imagine there's students in a number of
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those buildings today attending class. we have seen some images. i don't know if that's the entire population of the students inside at the time. according to our numbers about 18,000 kids attend school there. we saw quite a few there. not 18,000. do you let them out or secure the premises and continue to search for the other possible suspect? >> in a situation like this, law enforcement will contain, isolate and if you find somebody, try to talk them out and talk them to sundaying. negotiate. here working with contain and isolate. contain everybody in as safe an area. >> hang on a second because i want to explain to the audience. we have received a few twitter images from inside the lone star college. you see someone in the back of the room there on both sides
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quite honestly. we don't know when's going on or this was taken but we know this was at lone star college we're told during this incident. i think we have a second image, as well. you see what appears to be emergency workers near the doors there. two images tweeted out from inside one of the buildings or two of the buildings at the college. but back to some more information. we are told that the evacuation is in progress. >> as you and i discussed, tamron, that's a big responsibility. if you have got 18,000 people leaving campus via multiple
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exits, you also would like to make sure that the shooter is not believed active shooter is not one of those leaving, too. right now, as you and i know, the information we have suggested some type of altercation took place a. shooting between two individuals. we don't know if they were students or not. some suggestions they may or may not be gang related but a shooting took place. at least one of those shot could be one of the shooters. there's the potential that the second shooter is still on the run. there may be other people hurt right now. again, 18,000 is a large number, especially when law enforcement has to go room by room because, tamron, there can still be people hiding under desks as your photographs showed in different places of the campus. law enforcement has to clear all of those buildings. >> sure. okay. right. >> for anybody wounded and the potential of the shooter being inside of a building. >> thank you very much, clint. and again, what we knowt

News Nation
MSNBC January 22, 2013 11:00am-12:00pm PST

News/Business. Tamron Hall. Tamron Hall provides context and informed perspectives on the stories making headlines. New.

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